- Donald Trump on Sunday claimed that Joe Biden is being controlled by 'people in dark shadows' during an interview at the White House with Fox News host Laura Ingraham.
- Ingraham suggested that the US president was promoting a 'conspiracy theory.'
- Trump has embraced multiple conspiracy theories throughout his political career.
- Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.
Donald Trump has said that Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is being controlled by "dark shadows," a suggestion that was branded a "conspiracy theory" by the Fox News host interviewing him.
Speaking to Laura Ingraham at the White House on Monday, the US president said of Biden: "He's not controlling anything."
Ingraham asked: "Who do you think is pulling Biden's strings? Is it Obama people?"
Trump replied: "People that you've never heard of, people that are in the dark shadows. People that—"
Ingraham interrupted Trump to say: "What does that mean? That sounds like a conspiracy theory. Dark shadows. What is that?"
Trump replied: "No, they're people you haven't heard of. There are people that are on the streets, there are people that are controlling the streets. We had somebody get on a plane from a certain city this weekend. And in the plane, it was almost completely loaded with thugs, wearing these dark uniforms — black uniforms — with gear and this and that. They're on a plane"
Ingraham invited Trump to explain his mysterious claim, and he replied: "I'll tell you sometime. But it's under investigation right now."
He said that the person who had witnessed the "thugs" on planes had been headed to the Republican National Convention, adding that there were "a lot of people" on the plane who were travelling to Washington "to do big damage." He did not attempt to describe the unfounded claim related to the Biden campaign.
Trump's claims appear to relate to conspiracy theories he has spent the summer promoting on Twitter, warning that "anarchists" and Antifa activists would take over and loot cities where there have been riots and protests, including Portland and Chicago should Biden win the presidency in November.
At the Republican National Convention in June, Trump said that Biden would "destroy the American dream" and added: "Your vote will decide whether we protect law-abiding Americans, or whether we give free rein to violent anarchists, agitators and criminals who threaten our citizens."
Trump has embraced a series of conspiracy theories throughout his political career, including the false claim that former President Barack Obama had not been born in the USA and was therefore ineligible to run for office.
He has also previously promoted other discredited theories, including that the noise from windmills causes cancer, and appeared to link the suicide of convicted sex offender Jeffrey Epstein to former President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
On August 30, Trump retweeted a post claiming that only 6% of the 153,504 recorded coronavirus deaths in America had actually died from the virus, with the rest having died from other medical conditions.
The post — which Twitter has now removed for violating its misinformation policies — was shared by an account called "Mel Q," a reference to the QAnon conspiracy network, which falsely believes there are a group of Satan-worshipping paedophiles who run a global sex-trafficking ring, with which Donald Trump is engaged in a secret battle.
Trump earlier in August refused to condemn the QAnon movement, saying he didn't know much about the movement but understood that its followers "like him very much, which I appreciate."
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